The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at] I'd love to check out what you got.



Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

First and foremost, it appears a dubious site has claimed the old url, meaning any link in any review that goes to the old mattmovieguy url is corrupt. I'm in the process of trying to remove them all, but it's a lot! It's best not to click on any link without hovering over it first to make sure it doesn't have mattmovieguy in the url.

Second, it appears since my last trip to the blog, Photobucket has decided to charge for third party hosting, meaning none of my images are appearing anymore. That's simply an aesthetic issue, but still annoying.

Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight (1992)

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I caught this recently during a Bloodfist marathon on ShowtimeXtreme. I have friends with the channel, but unfortunately, they will probably be dumping it soon. I know when I had the channel myself it provided hours of enjoyment; but it is expensive, and I can totally understand them not keeping it. Perhaps we can get the channel as a tax write-off at the DTVC head offices.

Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight is the first of the series to feature Don "The Dragon" Wilson as someone other than the guy he was in the first two. In fact, all of them after III do that. Anyway, here he's in prison, and he sees his buddy raped and murdered, so he kills the guy that did it. That garners him bad attention from the cats that dug the dead guy, so he's forced to fight to survive. Richard Roundtree is his cell mate, and he's close to parole. He also represents the inmates at their parole and appeal hearings. The question is: will his supporting Donny kill him before his release date? We know it won't kill Donny Dawg.

Almost every action hero has to do the perfunctory prison flick. Don got his out of the way very early in his career, and I must say that was a good move. Though this movie is atrocious, we can forgive him for it, because he didn't have a lot under his belt. That being said, he better not do anymore, like Van Damme did, because the results could be disastrous. I think Crooked was a far better movie choice than In Hell.

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One thing I dug about this was the sheer volume of fighting in it. There could've been more if they'd just removed the plot completely, and I can't say I would've been upset with that, but I think the amount they had was enough. In one scene, Dragon fights this big dude in the laundry room. He kicks the guy backward through who knows how many hanging sheets. I'm not sure exactly what they were going for, whether that was a scene played for laughs gone wrong, or if they really thought it would be a cool effect and just got carried away, but it looked like something out of the Three Stooges.

Richard Roundtree's in this, unfortunately not reprising his role as Shaft. As a kid, the Shaft movies were to my mind the most amazing things I'd ever laid eyes on, and as an adult, my opinion hasn't changed much. We get flashes of what made Shaft great here, like when Roundtree goes upside a dude's head with a bat, but nothing like the scene in Shaft in Africa when he killed a bunch of dudes with a car; and none of the great lines like the classic "Close it yourself... Shitty!" from the first one. I think the film makers were a little over their head when they cast Roundtree, and as such, weren't able to use him to his full potential.

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This film had all the depraved hallmarks of the routine prison film, which I assume is meant to show us how gritty the prison environment is, but in the end just look whacked. This is especially true in the beginning when D "The D" Dubs' friend gets raped. Eww. Just the same, the film does a solid job in tempering this depravity, especially with how Don is able to get justice against both the warden (played by the assassin in Hard to Kill, an interesting connection between Don and Seagal) and the baddies in prison; and with the way they wrapped up Roundtree's story. I left this movie without the icky feeling I'm usually left with after other prison flicks, and I guess in that respect this film is a nice slice of all right.

If you see this again on ShowtimeXtreme or something, and you're up late typing or paper or battling insomnia, a fella or a lady could do a lot worse than watch this bad boy. On the other hand, if you spend any money, or set aside any time to watch this, you will feel sorely cheated. It's what we in The Biz call nondescript, and in my mind, nondescript is no good.

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